Chris Pokorny provides the most comprehensive, personable outlook regarding the 2008 draft.
2007 NFL Mock Draft - Round 1
By Chris Pokorny, PFCritics WriterApril 26, 2007
The 2007 NFL Draft will take place from April 28th to April 29th. On the first day of the draft, teams will try to find impact players during rounds 1-3. On the second day of the draft, teams will try to find potential "steals" that are still available, as rounds 4-7 cap off the draft. It's always fun to predict what will happen during the first round of the draft, and that's exactly what I have done here at PFCritics.com.
This year's draft order could change dramatically this Saturday, depending on what the Detroit Lions decide to do. Many teams want wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and it wouldn't be a burden for the Lions to accept an enticing deal. However, I often feel that it's better to fill out mock drafts as the order stands, without considering trades that may occur.
If you want more information on a player, click on their name to see their scouting profile. If you'd like to see last year's mock draft, click here. If you have any love or hate for my picks, leave a message in the form at the bottom of the page. Your comments will be featured in my next mailbag session here at PFCritics.com. Without further adieu, here is my official 2007 NFL Mock Draft for the first round (and be sure to bookmark our site):
Last year, for several months,
it was a definite "lock" that the Houston Texans would select Reggie
Bush with the first pick. Right before the draft, their interest in
Mario Williams perked up, and they chose him instead. This year, the
Raiders have been pegged by everyone to select JaMarcus Russell, until
the past week or so. Now, rumors of them selecting receiver Calvin
Johnson instead have begun circulating, and have even taken effect on
others' mock drafts. In the end, The Raiders need to look at what Vince
Young did with the Tennessee Titans last year. Young didn't need
top-notch receivers - he made plays on his own. Calvin Johnson wouldn't
be a bad pick, but if they select him, who would they plan on having
ready to throw to him?
Several months ago, I thought
that Brady Quinn would be a solid fit for the Lions. As time passed
though, I figured: why remove Jon Kitna from the position, after he
really did end up playing very well last season, considering the amount
of times he was sacked. Taking Joe Thomas with this pick will be very
tempting, but the addition of George Foster in the offseason gives them
a more serviceable tackle than last year. Many people may complain that
this would be the fourth receiver Matt Millen has taken, but two of
those receivers aren't a factor anymore, and Johnson could deliver more
explosiveness than even Roy Williams does. This is a very difficult
pick, since I have a feeling the Lions will trade down and select
Gaines Adams instead. Since I'm not doing this mock draft with trades
involved, the Lions will grab "the best player in the draft" with the
second pick (ironically, the Saints got the "best player" at No. 2 last
year as well).
The Browns will be looking for
an offensive player this year, and the debate will be whether that man
is a quarterback (Brady Quinn), a running back (Adrian Peterson), or an
offensive lineman (Joe Thomas). In terms of a quarterback, I don't
Browns are interested in developing yet another thrower, unless
they have a supporting cast first. Peterson would be ideal for
Cleveland if Jamal Lewis
doesn't hold up, but at this point, only time will tell in regards to
Lewis' ability. Lewis won't be finding much room to run if the Browns
don't improve their offensive line though. The Browns' biggest upgrade
in the offseason came with the signing of Eric Steinbach, but one
superior lineman can't fix the amount of times defenses penetrate into
the backfield. At this point, Thomas and Steinbach combined would
dramatically improve the team's ability to pass protect and run the
As I mentioned above, don't be
surprised if the order of this pick and the Lions pick get swapped, in
terms of selections. If things stand as they do above though, the
Buccaneers would have to feel very disappointed, missing out on the two
offensive prospects that they covet the most. With the complete lack of
playmakers that Tampa Bay had offensively last year, the next player
they could take offensively without "reaching" is Adrian Peterson, and
they already have a running back. Luckily for the Buccaneers, they do
have a little problem that they can solve defensively here by drafting
Gaines Adams. Simeon Rice is aging on the defensive line, and Adams
would be a tremendous force for a Buccaneers team that would also like
to re-establish their intimidating presence on defense. After all,
that's how Gruden won a Super Bowl, isn't it?
Like the Buccaneers, the
Cardinals will be disappointed if the above scenario unfolds as well,
because they are praying that Joe Thomas falls right into their lap. If
he doesn't, they would also enjoy having offensive tackle Levi Brown,
but choosing him at this point might be a tad too high, and this is a
spot where it would be difficult for the Cardinals to trade down.
Although their offense was fairly productive last season,
everyone knows that the Cardinals have had difficulty running the
football now for several years. That fact alone may force the Cardinals
to bypass a "value" defensive pick here (Jamaal Anderson, Alan Branch,
etc.) and instead simply fill the biggest need on their team with
Brown. After all, it wouldn't be like they were getting a second-rate
player by any means.
a miracle, I would say that all signs are pointing to the Washington
Redskins selecting a defensive lineman in the first round, regardless
of what happens. They'll have several people to choose from, and with
Adams off the board, Okoye, Jamaal Anderson, Alan Branch, or even Adam
Carriker (if they trade down) would each be under consideration at No.
6. Washington would love to trade this pick for Lance Briggs, but
assuming they stay put, Okoye has a chance to really shine for many
years to come. His age makes him almost Lebron-esque in terms of
entering the league but already having the goods.
Minnesota Vikings - LaRon Landry, S - LSU
The Minnesota Vikings will be
licking their chops if quarterback Brady Quinn is available here, but
that would basically mean that last year's selection of quarterback
Tarvaris Jackson would result in a net loss. Passing on that
opportunity, the Vikings desperately need help in their secondary after
having countless problems in the unit last season. Of all the defensive
backs in this year's draft, Landry is the only one that is basically a
"lock" to make an impact immediately.
their priority safety taken off the board by the Minnesota Vikings with
the previous pick, the Atlanta Falcons will opt to go with a top
defensive end to replace some of the team's losses in the offseason.
The Falcons lost Patrick Kerney in the offseason, and John Abraham has
not been able to stay very healthy since coming over from the New York
Jets. Anderson has fallen in some drafts, but with someone like Alan
Branch falling even further, Anderson still has a lot of potential to
help the Falcons.
Whether they acquire veteran
quarterback Trent Green or not, the Miami Dolphins would never be able
to pass on an opportunity to select perhaps the most polished
quarterback in this year's draft. The Dolphins are aging defensively,
but Quinn is the type of leader that can bring Miami out of their years
of low-powered offenses. This would also be a similar situation to last
year, when Matt Leinart was originally considered the "top quarterback"
in the draft, but ended up falling all the way down to the Arizona
Cardinals on draft day.
doubtful that both Peterson and Levi Brown would be available when the
Texans select, so it's difficult to decide who they would favor.
However, since Brown is already off the board in my mock draft, the
Texans cannot pass on Peterson. Although the Texans went out and signed
running back Ahman Green in the offseason, this is a situation where
the Texans could implement a variation of the New Orleans' Saints dual
running back system of a year ago. Green has had some health issues in
his career and Peterson would be a rookie, so giving each player only a
portion of the carries could benefit both of them in the long run.
After making perhaps the largest
splash on the free agency market (Nate Clements, Michael Lewis, Tully
Banta-Cain) defensively, the 49ers' next step is to continue working on
their defense, this time the defensive line. Bryant Young is aging
quickly for the 49ers, and the unit averaged less than a sack per game
last season. Adam Carriker is a perfect fit for the 49ers, because he
has the ability to work well in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme, depending
on what the team decides to install.
Buffalo Bills - Patrick Willis, LB -
Unlike the 49ers, The Buffalo
Bills took a gigantic loss on the defensive side of the ball, losing
Nate Clements, London Fletcher, and Takeo Spikes. With Patrick Willis
being the highest-coveted linebacker in this year's draft, it is a
virtual lock that the Bills will select him. And, unless a team trades
up to get him, it's also a lock that he will be available when the
Bills have this pick. Willis would have the skills to step right in and
start at middle linebacker in an attempt to recover from the team's
losses in the offseason.
The Rams are desperately in need
of help defensively against the run, and seeing Alan Branch fall this
far would not be an immediate disappointment for them. With three
defensive lineman off the board already, the Rams could very well be
getting a bargain, as Branch was originally considered the top
defensive lineman several months ago.
Carolina Panthers - Reggie Nelson, S - Florida
After the Carolina Panthers
seemed to be a team on the rise last year, they seemed to falter on
both sides of the ball at times. On offense, they couldn't convert on
third downs, which makes the selection of tight end Greg Olsen very
tempting here. However, the energy on defense wasn't the same as it had
been in the past, partially due to injuries. With veteran safety Mike
Minter getting older, Reggie Nelson would add a lot of energy to the
secondary using his blazing speed.
Although some people may have
cornerback Leon Hall a tad higher on their draft boards, it'll be tough
for the Steelers to pass up on Darrelle Revis, a local kid. Fans of the
Steelers are already acclimated with his play, and the team has been in
need of a dominating cornerback for several years now. Safety Troy
Polamalu has brought energy to the secondary, but one player can't do
it alone, as was seen when Ike Taylor was benched for awhile last
With the Packers on the verge of
a possible playoff run this year with Brett Favre returning, the team
will be looking for an offensive playmaker at this pick. Some would say
that the Packers need another target as a wide receiver, but Donald
Driver and Greg Jennings are suitable for those roles still, and more
receivers will be available in round two. After losing starting running
back Ahman Green in the offseason, it is clear that the Packers need to
select the best available running back here. It's unfortunate they
couldn't retain Green, because if they did, having Greg Olsen here
would be very nice.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Jarvis Moss, DE -
Although the Jaguars lost safety
Deon Grant in the offseason and Donovan Darius has been hindered by
injuries the past two years, it may be a reach to go with Michael
Griffin at this point. If Reggie Nelson falls down to this point
though, the Jaguars would be hard-pressed to take him. Disregarding
safety now, Jarvis Moss would provide the Jaguars with the pass rusher
they are in dire need of, and can add a new dimension to the team's
Cincinnati Bengals - Leon Hall, CB - Michigan
After suffering so many losses
last season, whether it be due to suspension or to injury, the Bengals
are looking to improve a defense that couldn't stop anyone last season,
except for an unusual three week run. With Tory James already gone and
Deltha O'Neal's production slipping, Hall would be a fitting complement
to Johnathan Joseph. With linebackers David Pollack and Odell Thurman
having their status up-in-the-air, a linebacker will be the Bengals'
alternative choice is they aren't interested in the field of defensive
backs available here.
Although the suspension of
cornerback "Pacman" Jones was certainly deserving, it has to be very
painful for the Titans to lose perhaps their best defensive player
after the type of season they are coming off of. That fact will
increase the team's priority to find another cornerback in the draft,
but that can still be done in round two. Ginn, as a receiver, can
actually replace part of what Jones did with returning kicks and punts.
And, if teams already had trouble chasing down Vince Young, imagine the
trouble they'll have covering Ginn's speed down the field while Young
rolls out of the pocket.
New York Giants - Paul Posluszny, LB - Penn
Giants were a laughable organization last season, and with several
people leaving in the offseason, the Giants need to draft wisely.
Posluszny, a linebacker well-equipped with instincts, would be a solid
start to fill in for a unit that lost LaVar Arrington, Brandon Short,
and Carlos Emmons. If not a linebacker, then the Giants could also have
their eyes set on left tackle Joe Staley. Although Staley may not be a
value pick here, the Giants would be willing to negate that to fulfill
their need for a tackle.
Denver Broncos - Robert Meachem, WR -
Denver is one of the few teams
that are considering several positions with this pick, as they could
easily go with a receiver, an offensive lineman, a linebacker, or a
defensive lineman. I went with Meachem here to add another weapon for
Jay Cutler next season, despite the fact that he already has Javon
Walker and Brandon Marshall. Eventually, I believe the Broncos' system
would work out very well if Meachem was the team's second receiver, so
that Marshall could continue to make plays from the slot. With all the
hype surrounding receiver Calvin Johnson this year, it could be Meachem
that holds the best rookie stats at the end of the season.
Tony Romo showed tremendous
potential last year, but the Cowboys need a backup plan at the wide
receiver position. Terry Glenn is getting older, and you never quite
know what type of controversy Terrell Owens will bring to the table
again. If the Broncos hadn't picked Meachem with the previous pick,
there's a good chance that Dallas would've taken him instead. Either
way, the Cowboys should be leaning towards a receiver in round one.
Kansas City Chiefs - Joe
Staley, OT - Central
If Ted Ginn Jr., Robert Meachem,
and Dwayne Bowe are all off the board already, it'll be a
disappointment for the Kansas City Chiefs, who need to address the
lackluster receiving position they've had for several years now.
However, the Chiefs are also a team that can run the football very
well, as long as they maintain their offensive line. Drafting Staley
would provide them with an immediate starting left tackle to replace
the departed Willie Roaf.
New England Patriots - Aaron Ross, CB - Texas
If the right opportunity arises,
I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see the Patriots trade away
one of their first round picks to obtain some additional picks later
on. Assuming they stay put though, Aaron Ross is a near lock to be
taken by Belichick and company. Drafting Ross would also provide a
backup plan in case things go sour with Pro Bowl corner Asante Samuel,
and give the team a young cornerback to mold the secondary in the
New York Jets - Greg Olsen, TE - Miami
ends from Miami sure seem popular these days, don't they? Olsen is the
player that will be on several team's boards if other players don't
happen to fall to the spot they are picking at. Olsen is the
highest-rated tight end this season, showing suitable speed. He would
certainly be an upgrade in terms of receiving over Chris Baker, and
would add to Chad Pennington's strategical method of moving the ball
down the field.
Philadelphia Eagles - Chris Houston, CB -
Defense is the key for the
Philadelphia Eagles here, who could draft at any position on that side
of the ball. In the end, it may simply come down to whose name was
highest on the team's list of favorable defensive players, rather than
a specific position. With that said, Houston is also the last of the
top-tier cornerbacks available in the draft, shutting down numerous
top-tier receivers that are entering this year's draft. Houston would
likely start off as a nickelback, but as the Eagles know from last
season, having depth can go a long way come playoff time.
After losing wide receiver Joe
Horn in the offseason, the New Orleans Saints would still favor a
cornerback here if one of the above corners were still available. Since
that's not the case, most receivers would fit well in the Saints'
system, as was seen last year through the success of guys like Drew
Brees and Marques Colston. It may be ironic that the Saints would have
a better seventh-round receiver on their roster than Jarrett, but he
can still complement the team's offense nicely.
New England Patriots - Lawrence Timmons, LB -
Although I'd prefer it if the
Patriots selected a guard with their second first-round pick, selecting
a linebacker makes perfect sense at this point. This year's linebacker
class isn't as strong as last years, but Timmons is a guy that could
very well have been selected around ten picks earlier. Although the
Patriots signed Adalius Thomas in the offseason, guys like Tedy
Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, and Larry Izzo are nearing the end of their
careers, and this would be a perfect opportunity to slowly ease a
youngster into one of their roles.
Although he can play either
guard or tackle on the offensive line, Blalock is the guy that the
Ravens should have their sights set on. The Ravens' offensive line has
gone downhill the past several years, as even a guy like Jonathan Ogden
hasn't been his same old self. Adding Willis McGahee basically sent a
message that the Ravens were ready to improve their line, whether it be
via Blalock, Ben Grubbs, Tony Ugoh, or another lineman.
San Diego Chargers - Steve Smith, WR - USC
After seeing all of the
first-round quality receivers be selected already, the Chargers will
have to "settle" for one that likely is valued as a low second-rounder:
Steve Smith. Besides the fact that he'll immediately add confusion to
the NFL due to his name, Smith could potentially add the spark that the
Chargers' wide receivers lacked last season, with the exception of
Vincent Jackson. The Chargers had a high-powered offense, but finding
receivers in the red zone was often an issue (granted, they went to
LaDainian Tomlinson all the time).
Chicago Bears - Joe Beason, LB - Miami
Depending on where you rank your
players, the Chicago Bears will be getting a solid value pick here if
Beason is still available. This move would make even greater sense if
the Bears actually do move through with the idea of trading
Lance Briggs to another team. Even if Briggs is not traded away, the
Bears would have a difficult time keeping him around beyond this
season, and Beason would provide the same type of "insurance" that I've
mentioned with so many of last year's playoff teams already.
Indianapolis Colts - Justin Harrell, DT -
The Indianapolis Colts won the
Super Bowl last season, after suddenly appearing to have a "magical"
defensive awakening in the postseason. However, the fact still remains
that the Colts' run defense was atrocious during the regular season
last year, and they lost a lot of their starters. Harrell's value has
dropped a little, but he would be a solid fit to start re-building the
Colts' run defense.
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